Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Use of pEEM for the quantitative analysis of protein-liposome interactions, NBL-4

   School of Natural Sciences

   Friday, April 05, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Application(s) are invited from suitably qualified candidates for full-time funded PhD scholarship(s) starting in February 2024 affiliated to the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory in the Discipline of Physics (School of Natural Sciences) at the University of Galway.

University of Galway

Located in the vibrant cultural city of Galway in the west of Ireland, the University of Galway has a distinguished reputation for teaching and research excellence

For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie

Detailed Project Description

The successful candidate will join the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) led by Prof. Alan Ryder, and help to investigate and develop the application of polarized Excitation Emission Matrix (pEEM) measurement methods for studying protein-liposome interactions. Liposomes are being used for a variety of applications including drug delivery (e.g., vaccines) and as models for cell membranes. We have an interest in exploring how pEEM can be used to monitor and measuring how liposomes interact with small proteins and/or peptides. Being able to analyse protein-liposome complexes this without dye labelling via measuring the intrinsic protein fluorescence using pEEM offers a unique non-contact, non-destructive method which has many applications in drug delivery and formulation.

This project combines aspects of both fundamental and applied research, first trying to understand the exact nature of the light-liposome-protein interactionsin turbid solutions and then utilising this knowledge to apply pEEM as a robust Process Analytical Technology (PAT). pEEM provides a rapid, non-contact, non-destructive method of analysis that could be integrated into manufacturing processes to observe/monitor adverse effects. pEEM has several unique advantages for protein analysis in that it can provide information about size and stability. In this project we want to investigate the use of pEEM for monitoring the kinetics of protein-liposome interactions as well as characterising different liposome-drug constructs.

The NBL is a multidisciplinary research group that sits at the boarders of Chemistry, Physics, and Biotechnology. Our fundamental research largely focusses on fluorescence spectroscopy and biophysics, seeking new ways of extracting information from light–matter interactions. The applied research element is the development of novel, robust spectroscopy based analytical techniques for complex challenges, particularly for proteins, in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Most of our current effort is translational, taking advanced pEEM based measurement techniques developed by the NBL into the real world, primarily for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector. The NBL has many collaborations with multinational biopharmaceutical manufacturing and instrumentation companies that inform our research and several are involved with this project.

More information is available on the NBL website: www.universityofgalway.ie/nanoscale/

Living allowance (Stipend): €22,000 per annum, tax-exempt scholarship award.

University fees: Four years EU fees are funded. A student levy applies (currently €140 per annum).

Start date: 01/February/2024 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

Academic Entry Requirements:

A first or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Physical Sciences (Chemistry, Physics, or Biochemistry), or have completed an M.Sc. degree in (Bio)Analytical Chemistry or Biophysics. Previous relevant research or industry experience is particularly valuable. Non-native English speakers must satisfy the University of Galway English Language Entry Requirements available here: www.universityofgalway.ie/international-students/studyinireland/entryrequirements/.

To Apply for the Scholarship:

Expressions of interest comprising submission of:

  • A covering letter (outlining interests, and motivation for pursuing a PhD), max 1-page,
  • A detailed CV (2-5 pages) describing your academic and research (or industry) experience,
  • Evidence for proficiency in the English Language (e.g. TOFL scores/certificate),
  • A pdf copy of your degree transcripts, and
  • Names and contact details for three referees willing to provide a confidential reference.

to be submitted as pdf files via e-mail to the contact below.

Contact Name: Prof. Alan G. Ryder

Contact Email:

Application Deadline: [02/January/2024 ] and time [24:00] (Irish time 24hr format)

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Physics (29)


Gordon, Fiona, Casamayou-Boucau, Yannick, & Ryder, Alan G. (2022). Evaluating the interaction of human serum albumin (HSA) and 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) liposomes in different aqueous environments using anisotropy resolved multi-dimensional emission spectroscopy (ARMES). Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 211, 112310. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2021.112310 Free download here: http://hdl.handle.net/10379/17309

Register your interest for this project